Six on Saturday – Peace

Another day, another Six on Saturday. For the uninitiated, take a look at The Prop’s site and you will soon be up to speed with the inner workings of the sophisticated machine that is SoS. For those of you that wish to witness a plethora of flimsily veiled, Grade A cheekiness then take a look at what Mr K is up to. I can’t believe you actually looked?! I am very disappointed. Best to sweep that under the carpet and proceed with the task at hand, all the while silently weeping.

First, we have a crest fallen rose, a victim of this summer’s ravages. It has been suggested before by your clever selves that it is ‘Peace’. I like it. Both the sentiment and the flower.

Next, the most elegant in flower but languid in habit, Fuchsia glazioviana.

Now a disappointment. Yes, another one. This is, supposedly, Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’. I have been waiting for it to flower for an age or two. After my initial euphoria, I now believe it to be an imposter. Life is like that sometimes, still the dark stem is rather nice.

On to Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’. It is a relatively new arrival but already has been subjected to the trauma of OH trimming the grisselina behind. Which cost it its first flowering stem. I said nothing. Let me remind you; peace is the preferred option.

Now the glorious Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’. I can’t beat glorious I’m afraid.

Lastly, a Dahlia coccinea seedling, dark-leaved and sultry. A great favourite of both myself and the slugs and snails. Sometimes I am not quite so peaceful.

That is yer lot you mottley crew! ‘Til the next time. Be safe and happy, my friends.

Wordless

My words have failed me at the moment. I’ve had a little shufty about and still nothing. I’m sure they’ll come back, they usually do.

Instead I am all action. Just like this ladybird patrolling the sturdy pillar of a cardoon; ever vigilant for aphid infestation and a bit of lunch.

For your information: Greenfly are not my snack of choice, though feel free to send twiglets.

Six on Saturday – Compass Point

It is Six on Saturday time again, which is serving as a welcome compass point. Although hard to believe, the days this week have seemed more confused than ever. Cancellations, rearrangements and future plans, when the future was previously barely credible, have all served to muddy my already murky waters. For that reason it is nice to know that this is Saturday and only Saturday, for that is all it could be. If you wish to discover further benefits to SoS participation, then pop over to The Propagator to find out more, or perhaps even less, my compadres are also often muddled. Let us get on or I will be getting in trouble with the Strict Task Master across the Channel, no Fred, not you, the other Channel.

First, a leaf of Brugmansia ‘Grand Marnier’ and friend. You must forgive for the blurry photograph, it was early morning, before my 100% proof flagon of coffee. During my garden meanderings I spotted this critter and ran (wobbled) back to the house to get my camera. All that exertion was too much for me, hence shake. And no, it was nothing to do with gin. This brugmansia has not thrived, possibly due to being in too small a pot. Last weekend this was rectified, so now has absolutely no excuse not to do something fabulous.

Next, a dear little erodium, nestled in an alpine planter bought lock, stock and barrel from a bargain bin, far, far away. It has subsequently been ignored. Everyone loves a trouper.

Now the absolutely gorgeous Diascia personata, a gift from my friend Chloris. She is not only generous, she also has impeccable taste. Its common name is masked twinspur. After absolutely no research on this matter at all, I can only surmise this is due to its twin spurs which are masked. I wouldn’t quote me on it.

On to a teasel water reservoir. This is son of, son of, son of etc the teasel that hitched a ride from our previous home in Bristol. We love teasels in our house. Although none of the current generations have reached the dizzying heights of their predecessor, all are loved. Next door has a new bird feeder which has attracted a family of goldfinches, hopefully they will still be about to enjoy our offering. Yesterday I was watching a fledgling on the telephone wire outside our bedroom window, gloriously twittering for some grub. A joy.

Now for Impatiens puberala, just coming into flower. A great favourite of mine, although I am sure it would be happier in the ground or living with someone with a better watering ethic.

Lastly Dichelostemma ida-maia, which I featured as a mere shoot in an earlier SoS. It has suffered badly from the onslaught of molluscs. The attack has been relentless. Although the flower is not fully out, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to share. It might be in the belly of a snail tomorrow.

That’s it, all done for another week. Take care my friends.

Six on Saturday – Nearly

I must admit I have struggled with this week’s Six on Saturday. Everything seems to be nearly photo-ready or past caring, having being munched by slugs and snails. Still, I’ve done the best I can for you and our illustrious leader, who is never nearly but is ever always, See You Later Propagator.

First we have what I imagine to be the common monbretia, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora . Perhaps it is or perhaps it is something more exotic, no matter. It was in residence when we arrived and is not keen to give up its patch, stealthily marching on. I have dug up a lot of crocosmia in my time. It is in my top ten of irritating plants. Then you look again, back-lit on a sunny evening, and you don’t even have to be desperate to want to include it on your SoS.

Next our Venus Fly Trap. In this instance I say “our” as it was a gift to OH a couple of years ago. He has ignored it ever since. Immediately after purchase it flowered and the given wisdom was that it was doomed. It wasn’t. Although pale, it is still interesting, and catching the odd insect.

Next we have Amaranthus caudatus, which quite frankly is just silly.

This Lantana camara, was brought a few weeks ago. It is still not planted out, but is showing willing. Perhaps this weekend.

Next we have a newby to me, Glebionis segetum, the corn marigold. I grew this from RHS seed, which I chose specially because I hadn’t heard of it before. I am underwhelmed. Although very nice, nice is not what I am after, I want wonderful.

Lastly, it is Peggy’s birthday on Tuesday, so it is only right to include a giraffe as my last contribution. This Sauromatum venosum leaf stalk is perfect.

That is it, another week! Stay safe and well my friends. Na noo na noo!

Haircut

This morning I had a haircut, the first since lockdown. It was a bizarre affair, with masks and visors and trepidation. My lovely hairdresser did her upmost to tame my barnet and sent me, newly coiffured, off to The Mantle’s Estate. Standing in front of Their ‘Ships I waited for their opinions. Her Ladyship said all the right things. His Lordship was less than convincing, even though I believe he had practiced. He gets a point for effort.

Their hydrangea far outshone my new, marginally less wild, look. Best to dwell on the truly beautiful.

Six on Saturday – No Name

Sometimes you can get caught up in your own little world of misery. Which is what has happened to me this week, or perhaps a fortnight. It is tooth related, a design fault to my mind. In the scheme of things, it is small beer, but still, the mire of my mood persists. Weakness is sometimes hard to acknowledge, which is unfortunate as troubles are seldom unique.

Less of my self-pity. Let us get on with proceedings, that is, my Six on Saturday. Please pop over to our magnificent Prop’s to find out what else has been going on in the world this week. Gardenwise and perhaps other-wise.

First we have a glorious, unnamed, hydrangea which we inherited with the house. The spider came too. The flowers are such a wonderful colour, the photo only a meagre reflection of reality. Flowering perhaps a little bit early?

Next Penstemon ‘Gurt Big Purple’, grown from a cutting from an ex-client’s garden. Lush. I made up the name, just in case you wondered.

Now a fragrant-leaved pelargonium. I haven’t a clue what it is called; I can’t even remember where it came from. Although you can’t appreciate the scented foliage, you can admire the very pretty blushing flower.

Onto a scabious that, before it flowered, I thought might be ‘Blue Jeans’. It appears not. It is possibly a self seeder from the original that has now popped its clogs. Twice the height of its parent, this cuckoo is rather lovely with its pink brushed flower.

Now a flowering sempervivum which is a combination of obscene and wonderful. It came in a job lot from Lidl and, with its assorted mates, sailed through winter protected from the worse of the wet. I have grown rather fond of them.

Lastly a geranium, pilfered from a client’s garden, which has made itself at home on top of the cut-and-come-again lettuce. They look quite happy together.

That is yer lot, my friends. Have a good week. I’ll try to jolly up by next time.

GMBG – Wilding by Isabella Tree and Ant and Mary

June’s “Great Monthly Book Giveaway” (I’m pretty sure that is what it stands for) has been delivered to you just in time, on the last day of the month. I can’t blame lack of inspiration for my dillydallying. This GMBG introduced itself to me a while ago. But I can blame the postie as, although sent several weeks ago, this book is yet to arrive at its new home. This small matter will not deter me. We will pretend that it has been delivered and continue as though nothing is amiss. Silence that nagging voice telling you this is all a farce, another example of the rot embedded in our society, the relentless onslaught of deception and manipulation. Hang on a minute! There is no need to over-react. It’s just a missing book, I’ve confessed to the shortcoming and if it doesn’t appear I’ll get another one to replace it. Really, sometimes I wonder why I bother at all.

First the recipients this month. The ones who haven’t got the book. I have known Ant and Mary for a long time. Their son, Mike, was one of my first boyfriends. He was a very nice lad; I am sure he is now a very nice man. I don’t really know; I lost touch with him many years ago. But I have stayed in contact with his mum and dad. That is because they are also very nice, lovely in fact. They first knew me as a wet behind the ears, fresh out of Cornwall, innocent young lass, and they have always been kind and considerate to me. There were never patronising (when to be honest it would have been an easy thing), were interested in what I had to say, enjoyed a chat about this that and everything in between and were forever great fun.

This isn’t the first time my blog has featured this lovely couple. A few years ago Mary kindly wrote a guest blog for me Hat Guardians an indication of her love of the wilderness. A little while later they very kindly sent me two special books, as previously chronicled in Six on Saturday – Necessity. Now I am returning half the favour.

I contacted Ant and Mary a few weeks ago, to find out how they were getting on, how lockdown en France was panning out and suchlike. Mary told me that they were letting some of their land go “wild” and the bee orchids and Rosa mundi were magnificent. When I read this comment, a cartoon lightbulb pinged out of the top of my head. They would make the perfect match. After checking they didn’t have the book already, which they didn’t although they were aware of it, it was decided. So you see, they have been my blogging inspiration three times now. They will start charging commission.

The book that I am pairing them with, Wilding by Isabella Tree, it is one of the most enlightening and thought provoking books I have read in a long time. Or perhaps ever read. It is a story of the decision to return 3,500 acres of a West Sussex farm, Knepp, to the wild. It is no fluffy fairytale; along the way there are countless battles and heart-sinking failures, paired with many glorious successes. There are moral mazes and new roads to forge, and the discovery of other like-minded people from across the globe who provided much support. It doesn’t purport to give all the answers, and it leaves a lot of questions to ponder. Ones that we should be pondering.

There has been much talk, during these troubled times, of nature reclaiming the land, deer wandering into cities, pollution falling, flora and fauna thriving. Although I am sure this will be reversed in the blink of the self-centred human’s eye, it does give us a glimpse of what could be. Peer into Ms Tree’s book, and you will be given a panorama of what is possible, of how we can begin to right a few of the many wrongs.

Definitely a match made in heaven. I hope it arrives soon, or I might have to deliver the replacement myself!